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Bart V.

How to Research British Medals?

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As to the topic title depicts, how do you start to Research British & Commonwealth Forces Medals? You've a number, rank and some pre-name initials and a surname and unit initals. So how do you start researching these? I found that the initials and names can belong to many other soldiers if you do not have vital information such a birth date or so. For example:

 

M2-182317 Cpl.C.J.Turner. A.S.C.

 

(WW1 Medals) M2-182317 - Corporal C.J. Turner - Army Service Corps

 

When I try to find more to a Cpl. C.J. Turner I stumble upon tens (or hundreds) of names to a C.J. / C. / J. Turner in the A.S.C.

 

Thanks in advance,

Bart

 

 

 

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Many of the search engines allow the search to be further refined by adding the service number. Even if there are many with the same name, only one will have that service number. Your man's service number was 182317 to which, in 1920, a prefix M2 was added to indicate that he served with a "Mechanical Transport" unit within the Army Service Corps. 

 

Many of the search sites charge a subscription fee before you can see any info. I have used a guy named Stephen Burke who advertises on EBay and will provide a colour scan of the individuals medal index card showing all his entitlements as well as any details of his service for a nominal fee ( usually just a couple of pounds). 

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WW1-BRITISH-MEDAL-INDEX-CARDS-RESEARCH-SILVER-WAR-BADGES-ARMY-RECORDS-CHECK-/230978835999?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash=item35c769561f

 

 

If you are only wishing to research an occasional individual its probably more cost effective to let someone like Steve do it for you rather than paying subscriptions to some of the search sites which charge subscriptions.

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I've noticed and read that the Service numbers also could change during the time.

I'm subscribed at Forces War Records & Ancestry both good reference sources al though it is still not easy to find soldiers sometime. Especially with the service numbers - I've researched some medals due their service number(s) and running them through both reference sources and many of them are not trackable or when I do manage to find some, in some of those cases they have other service numbers written down.

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Bart,

 

Common  names  can  be  a nightmare  to  research. Service  numbers changed,  as  well  as  Regiments  and  the  whole process  is  difficult  at  times.  In  addition,  many of  the  WW1  records  were  destroyed  during  the  blitz. If it  is  a  WW1 soldier  your  best  starting point  will  always  be  the medal  index  card  which if  you  find  the  right man  will  give  you  service  numbers  and  different  Regiments or  Corps  they  served  in.

 

I  have  spent  days  at  the  Public  Records  office  in  Kew  over  the  last  20  years  researching MIC. Now it is  all  available  on Ancestry.com  but is  not  cheap.

 

Attached is  an  example  with  some information  you  can  find on  the  rear of  the  card,  but  many  have no information  at  all

 

Jim

 

Please login or register to see this attachment.

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Great information provided on this subject.  In some cases, especially for officers or for men who won a bravery award you can try an advanced search of the London Gazette.

BROKEN LINK (REMOVED)

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if you ever had a paid subscription for ancestry, mine has lapsed, you still get access to the MIC's and can also take advantage of the free access that they offer to all records every now and then, usually during the anniversary of major military events such as armistice day commemorations

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